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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Visit to Oxford

It's been another really warm and sunny day, so we went to Oxford. We didn't take the car, instead opting for bus travel. I now have my concessionary bus-pass (yes, one is now at the age when one can travel by bus for nothing!) and we caught the bus on Saxon Street which took us into the centre of Milton Keynes next to The Point, and then to the railway station, where we boarded the bus for Oxford, and within around an hour and ten minutes we were at Oxford Bus Station. So the entire journey there and back cost around £12.50, and without the hastle of driving, the cost of petrol, finding somewhere to park, or at least not having to use the park-and-ride system into the centre of Oxford. We have been there on several occasions, usually to visit the theatre, The Oxford Playhouse, or a performance of Creation Theatre (who perform in something called the mirror or spiegeltent.) and we've seen a show based on stories by the Brother's Grim and the theatre set up in the carpark of the B.M.W. car plant, and another show based on Shakespeare's  'Saints and Villains' and performed in a city centre church. The other shows we've seen have been at the Playhouse, and performed by Propellor, and all-male company who stage Shakespeare productions, and we've seen 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'Twelfth Night' there, as well as 'Henry V' at the Milton Keynes Theatre, as well as 'The Taming Of The Shrew' at The Old Vic, when we went with a party from Stantonbury School when Carol worked there.
Oxford on most sunny summer's days must be quite busy, particularly as it is very likely to be one of those places that attracts tourists, from whatever country, as it is a particularly historic place, featuring in many events over the centuries. Also, it has been used in many films and television drama series as well as being the setting for many novel, notably the "Inspector Morse" novels and the television series. C.S. Lewis, author of the "Narnia" books and J.R.R. Tolkein, of "Lord Of The Rings" and "The Hobbit" fame were professors here and were part of a literary group known as "The Inklings." Lewis Carrol was Dean of one of the colleges during the 19th century and wrote the "Alice" books. And also Philip Pullman used a version of Oxford as a background to his "Dark Materials" trilogy of novels. So, it wasn't at all surprising that we saw groups of people being taken on guided tours of the city centre. We also saw a film unit parked in one of the main streets. From experience as a television walk-on and supporting artiste I know what one of these looks like, and the amount of space all the vans, lorries and other paraphernalia looks like. We couldn't see exactly what the film or television series was they were filming, but I have an idea it might have been the "Inspector Morse" spin off, "Lewis."

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